Other highlights in the August 2 issue of JNCI

Health Centers' Hospice Enrollment Rates Vary Widely

Terminally ill patients' enrollment in hospice services varies more by where they are treated than by individual patient characteristics, a study concludes.

Nancy L. Keating, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues identified 3,805 Kaiser Permanente of Northern California health plan enrollees who died of lung, breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer between 1996 and June 2001. They assessed hospice enrollment rates among these patients.

The authors found that 65.4% of the patients enrolled in hospice care. Enrollment was similar across all racial and ethnic groups, and it did not vary by marital status. However, different health centers had substantially different enrollment rates.

They write, "Focused efforts to understand how patients, physicians, and hospices interact at the local level are important to ensure equal access to hospice care for all terminally ill cancer patients."

Leah Gourley

High Processed Meat Consumption Linked With Stomach Cancer

Eating processed meat is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer, a new study suggests.

Susanna C. Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 15 epidemiology studies of processed meat consumption and stomach cancer published between January 1966 and March 2006.

They found that the risk of stomach cancer increased the more often a person consumed processed meat. "Future studies should control for more potential confounders and examine whether the association between processed meat consumption and stomach cancer risk is modified by other dietary factors, H. pylori infection status, or genetic polymorphisms."

Susanna Lars

Contact: Ariel Whitworth
Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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